Educational Articles » humminbird sonar

Fish or weeds? Posted on July 15, 2018

Just another example on why down imaging helps sonar interpretation. The weeds look similar to fish.

Weeds or fish 1

 In this one the fish look like weeds.

weeds or fish 2

Fish size on sonar Posted on October 30, 2017

Identifying fish size on sonar is very difficult since you can change the size with sensitivity adjustments or depth range. Fish look larger on a depth range of 20 foot than 100 foot. The size of a fish is determined by the color of the fish arch. For example if you have palette colors yellow, blue and red. The more yellow you see the bigger the fish. The thickness of the fish arch also determines fish size. How long the fish arch is just how long the fish is below the transducer.

In the image the black vertical lines show how long the fish is under the transducer and the green lines show the thickness of the fish arch.

fish arch

The best way to tell size is catch one the fish you see on sonar or use an Aqua-Vu camera.

The first example shows my bait dropping (green arrow), the bait is intercepted by a bass (red arrow) and the bass swims to the bottom (black arrow) and then I set the hook and catch him.

bass

This is the bass.

large bass on sonar

How about these fish. Needless to say I was excited when I found them but they didn't bite so I dropped the Aqua-Vu camera and was surprised what I found.

carp on sonarcarp on sonar 2

Watch video of fish

 On this screenshot is a 7.5 lb. northern pike, you can see when I set the hook and started bringing him to the surface.

Northern pike for sonar size educationnorthern pike

The last screenshot is smallmouth bass and I caught a few, this is a picture of one of them. One of my favorite fish to catch.

smallmouth basssmallmouth bass

This screenshot shows a 29.5 inch walleye after being released.

29 inch walleye29 inch walleye

I was lucky in my timing to collect good data to prove fish size on sonar.

Last but not least is what a 5 inch minnow attached to a sinker looks like with 1.5-2.5 lb. walleyes below it.

walleye and minnow size on sonar

 

Crappies on different sonar brands Posted on August 27, 2017

Learn how crappies display on different sonar brands.

Crappies are a much sought after fish and I get a lot of questions about what they look like on sonar. Crappies often suspend over open water, making  them  difficult to target. In this session I will show what they look like on different sonar brands.

Image #1 shows crappies on a 2D Garmin sonar using High Chirp.

Image #2 shows the same school with a Humminbird using the MEGA transducer on High Chirp.

Image #3 is the same school using a Lowrance TM150 transducer set at 105 kHz frequency.

Lowrance Crappie

Image #4 shows the same school with the Humminbird side imaging

Humminbird side imaging crappie

Next are 2 videos showing the Panoptix with 2 different transducers. The PS 30 looks down and to the side and the PS 21 looks to the side.

I use side imaging or the PS 21 to find the school when it moves since they see to the side and I use Minn Kota Spot Lock to sit on the school and vertically jig for supper.

PS 21 video

PS 30 video

Understanding weeds, bait and fish with sonar and Aqua-Vu Posted on January 24, 2017

Watch the short video to get an understanding why weeds are important for fishing.

Watch Video

Humminbird down imaging

Lost Fish, How To Find Them With Sonar Posted on December 13, 2016

Ever wonder what to do when you are slowly moving jig or rig fishing and lose the fish on sonar?

I had these fish near weeds located with down sonar (2D and down imaging).

If they disappear I look at the side imaging on a different screen to see if they are left or right. Like this image.

I place the cursor on the fish on the side imaging and create a waypoint and then move the boat to the fish before they move too far. It is easy, once you catch a few fish this way you add it to your fishing tools.

Understanding Humminbird/Lowrance Sonar Auto-Sensitivity Posted on August 12, 2016

Understanding bottom hardness is vital to understanding and catching walleyes.

Sometimes it is easy like this image with the hard bottom on the left.

Humminbird bottom hardness

I use Auto-sensitivity on my Humminbird and Lowrance models almost always. It works so well we never notice when it adjusts. Auto-Sensitivity mainly adjusts for depth. We need a higher sensitivity in deeper water since the sound that returns as you go deeper becomes weaker. A manual setting of sensitivity for 10 feet to get the optimal image would not show fish at 100 feet and this is where Auto-Sensitivity shines.

I’ll use examples from this summer when there were a lot of microorganisms in the water so you see a funny screen to help understand what is happening when the auto-sensitivity is working.

The first image shows rapid depth changes at a speed of 30 mph. Notice the clutter clears when I go shallow (green arrows).

Lowrance Auto-Sensitivity

The next image shows the suspended clutter change as I go up the slope. At the same time as the clutter changes, the bottom changes (green arrow). The Auto-Sensitivity has decreased the sensitivity at a certain depth.  It is important to understand this when you are trying to determine bottom hardness as walleyes are often found by finding hard bottom.

Humminbird Auto-Sensitivity

 

The 3rd image shows what appears to be harder bottom on the right side of the image but this is caused mainly by the Auto-Sensitivity increasing the sensitivity as I go deeper (green arrow).

Harder bottom has a wider bottom band and stronger colors like the yellow. It is easily to fooled by this image and think there is a transition from soft to hard bottom which walleyes often prefer.

Lowrance Auto-Sensitivity

Auto-Sensitivity is a great feature but understanding its limitations is important for hunting hard bottom which can result in you greasing the pan for walleye more often.

 

Learn Sonar Session 16 Posted on July 27, 2016

Interpreting sonar, down imaging and side imaging is very difficult. I have 3 great images to use as examples for teaching interpretation of sonar.

The left side imaging is showing the drop-off as dark (yellow arrows point to the drop-off on the map and side image). Bright is the strongest return and black is none. Since sound goes in a straight line the drop-off is dark.

The red circle is showing fish on the shallow side and I think they are about where the red arrow is pointing on the map. I would mark a waypoint on the side image and cast to the fish since they are shallow. Notice the boat is in 2.9 feet.

The next image shows the drop-off as dark (red circle) and fish are suspended near the drop (yellow arrow). Fish show up well on side imaging since they show up as bright on the dark background. Hard bottom is also bright which makes fish difficult to see on bright background.

This is an amazingly clear image of boulders (green arrow) next to trees (yellow arrow) that slid from the bank into the river.

The red arrow shows a fish in the trees and the white arrow shows a small drop-off.

 

Down Imaging and 2D sonar for Understanding Sonar Posted on June 30, 2016

Don’t miss supper, get better at sonar and fish where there are fish. Use the splitscreen sonar and down imaging and compare the two and you will become an expert.

Down imaging has a narrow wide cone and the 2D sonar has a round cone so they view targets differently and comparing the two makes interpreting sonar much easier.

This image is showing trees and the 2D sonar on the left is difficult to interpret but the down imaging shows the trees well.

Humminbird down imaging

This image shows fish on the side of a boulder but the down imaging shows 2 fish and I get much more excited seeing two fish than one.

Humminbird down imaging

This image shows 2 bait balls in weeds (yellow and green arrows) that the 2D sonar looks like weeds.

Humminbird ONIX

This image looks like stacked fish because of the arches but it is a common when you have posts or trees.

Lowrance DownScan

On this image the bait ball and the larger fish near it are missed with 2d sonar.

Lowrance DownScan

I see images like these everyday on the water since I usually run down imaging with 2d sonar. If you miss a fish on sonar you may miss supper.

Humminbird ONIX amazing Side imaging Posted on May 23, 2016

I was out casting for shallow walleyes today and my ONIX side imaging was amazing.

I was in 2.8 feet of water and took this screenshot. Notice the range of 119 on each side and  the screen is loaded with fish.

The fish are in the green circles and some rock in the black circle.

I was able to identify some of the fish since we caught sheephead and catfish plus I saw a school of carp swim by and a 5 foot sturgeon also swam by. No walleyes but we had an amazing experience.

 

Targeting Individual Fish Posted on May 13, 2016

From Johnnie Candle pro walleye angler and full time guide on Devils Lake.

 I use this method to target individual fish using the I Pilot link to a Humminbird Core model, Helix or ONIX. I Pilot Link makes fishing for individual fish incredibly easy.  When graphing a location, I will have my trolling motor in the water.  With the new Ulterra, I don’t even have to get out of my seat to do this.  I will have my Helix or ONIX in split screen mode with the active side being the sonar side or just the sonar screen.  If I mark a fish that I want to target, I will place the cursor over that fish and create a waypoint. 

Stop the boat, then using the menu or the touch screen to spot lock on that waypoint from your Humminbird.  As the boat drives itself to that waypoint, I have time to grab my fishing rod and be ready to fish when the boat arrives to that fish.  It is amazing how many times you will catch that fish.